George Michael Quietly Donated Millions To Help Abused & Bullied Children

George Michael

As the world reels from the passing of pop music star George Michael, we learn he was even more generous in private than most knew.

Michael had secretly been giving millions to a charity that helped UK children who were the target of abuse and/or bullying.

Via The Irish Times:

Behind the headlines and huge on-stage persona, George Michael was a generous man who kept quiet about his considerable charitable donations, it has emerged. The star donated all the royalties from his 1996 number one single Jesus To A Child to charity, and is said to have given a gameshow contestant thousands of pounds to fund her IVF treatment.

Michael has helped countless children as a result of his donations to Childline, the charity’s founder and president Dame Esther Rantzen said. “For years now he has been the most extraordinarily generous philanthropist, giving money to Childline, but he was determined not to make his generosity public so no-one outside the charity knew how much he gave to the nation’s most vulnerable children,” she told the Press Association.

“Over the years he gave us millions and we were planning next year, as part of our 30th anniversary celebrations to create, we hoped, a big concert in tribute to him — to his artistry, to his wonderful musicality but also to thank him for the 100s of 1,000s of children he helped through supporting Childline.”

From Childline’s official website:

Childline is here to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. Whether it’s something big or small, our trained counsellors are here to support you.

Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night. You can talk to us on the phone, by email or through 1-2-1 counsellor chat. Whatever feels best for you.

Our counsellors are trained staff and volunteers. All sorts of people become Childline counsellors. They could be 16 or 60. They could be gay or straight – or anywhere in between. They come from lots of different backgrounds and places.

What they all have in common is they want to help young people.

They’re real people who want to support you with any issue you’re facing. They’re trained but they don’t follow a script.

(h/t JoeMyGod)

#GivingTuesday 2016

We have “Black Friday.”

We have “Cyber Monday.”

But don’t forget we also have “Giving Tuesday.”

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

Let me do my part here and suggest a few of MY favorite organizations that do fantastic work throughout the year.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS: Since 1987, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has helped men, women and children impacted by HIV/AIDS across the country and across the street receive lifesaving medications, health care, nutritious meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance.

The Ali Forney Center: The Mission of the Ali Forney Center is to help homeless Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning youth be safe and become independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood. You can donate items from the Center’s “Amazon Wish List” like socks, sweat shirts, thermal underwear and more by clicking here.

The St. Therese Center in Las Vegas: a food pantry service, underwear & socks program, haircuts, a daily sandwich program and many emotional support services make this charity an unsung hero in Las Vegas for those affected by HIV/AIDS.

The Bright Star Foundation in Las Vegas: focuses on one thing – to financially and strategically support other organizations that see homeless LGBTQ youth fall through the cracks.

News Round-Up: November 25, 2016

Some news stories you may have missed:

• Out boxer Orlando Cruz looks to become first gay World Champion boxer on Saturday.

• It’s that charitable time of year! Here’s a list of organizations that put your LGBT charity dollars to good use.

• A McDonald’s franchise in Arkansas, found in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act for firing an HIV+ employee, ordered to pay over $100,000 settlement.

• The Secret Service may have to pay $3 million a year leasing two floors of Trump Tower in order to protect President-elect Trump and family. Taxpayers foot the bill, and Trump gets a financial windfall.

• A straight LGBT ally’s parents asked her to remove her Human Rights Campaign sticker from her car before driving to Thanksgiving dinner. The parents said they found the emblem “offensive.” She refused.

• President-elect Trump apparently hates this picture of him. I don’t see why. Expect to see it a LOT on The Randy Report.

Mike Pence: Donald Trump Has Given “Tens Of Millions” To Charity

Moments ago, Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that his running mate Donald Trump has given “tens of millions” of dollars to charities.

Within minutes, Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold sent an email to the Trump campaign asking for details for those donations.

Fahrenthold has been doing some deep reporting on Donald Trump’s foundation and it’s spending habits. Very interesting read.

Who Likes Hunky French Firemen?

Just checking, but I’m not the only one who think firemen are way hot, right?

Credit French photographer Fred Goudon for this uber-sexy 2016 charity calendar featuring hunky, handsome (and almost naked) French firefighters.

Proceeds from the sales of the calendar will go to the charity Pompiers Sans Frontières, a French organization that provides humanitarian aid.

“For me and for many others, firefighters are heroes. Every single day, these guys are out there saving people’s lives,” Goudon told The Local. “And they’re all so nice, so strong… and you can see it in the pictures that there is a kind of pride in them that others don’t have.”

For more info about the calendar – click here.

Las Vegas: Olivia Newton-John Launches Pink and Blue for Two Wines

Olivia Newton-John (R) and nephew Emerson Newton-John (L)

I had the pleasure (hello – wine involved, how could it not be pleasure?) to attend a media event this week where Las Vegas headliner and music icon Olivia Newton-John hosted the launch of Pink and Blue for Two wines, now being sold at the Flamingo Las Vegas’ Center Cut high-end steak house and at the hotel’s boutique store.

Everyone knows I’m a wine lover, and I have to say – I had the Chardonnay and it’s excellent.

With proceeds from sales going to support the PB42 campaign and the wellness programs at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Center in Australia, you might assume the wine (being a charity wine) is a “secondary” or “less than” wine from Meadowcraft Winery. But it’s very, very good.

There’s also a Merlot for red wine lovers. And ONJ picked them out herself.

Co-hosting the event was Emerson Newton-John, Olivia’s nephew, who founded Pink and Blue for Two. The charity campaign encourages men and women to take part in breast and prostate exams as a way to catch possible cancers early.

For folks who can’t get to Las Vegas, you can order the wine online (for a great cause) by hitting this link.

All photos by Denise Truscello

Olivia Newton-John with Tom Meadowcroft of Meadowcroft Winery and Emerson Newton-John

Hubby Michael and I with Emerson and Olivia

Think On This…

(graphic via Memeographs)

I want you to think on this:

As thousands of anti-gay folks pour hundreds of THOUSANDS of dollars into a fund to help middle-class pizza restaurant owners in Indiana ‘cope’ with going public with their anti-gay animus:

• Homeless shelters go begging for funds to help those out in the freezing cold.

• Food pantries hope for contributions to help those who are hungry. Every. Single. Day.

• LGBT youth turned out by their families for being who they are search for a safe place to lay their heads for the night.

But folks who can proudly stand and say they wouldn’t accept payment to feed a celebration of love of a same-sex couple are looking at a windfall of over $840,000.

29,000 have donated to help a middle-class family that owns a pizza restaurant.

Where were they for the homeless and hungry?

Tell me again how “Christ-like” they are…

Better yet – show me.

Here’s MY call to action.

LGBT activist Scott Wooledge has launched a campaign to raise funds to help Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund, which helps homeless LGBT youth. Can I ask you to hit this link and donate?

Anything. $5. $10. Whatever. It all helps.

And then, one more favor – can you share that link on social media?

Show the world love is stronger than hate.

USF Kappa Sigma Brothers Bring Margaritas, Massages & “Magic Mike” To Charity Auctin

Down at the University of South Florida, the brothers of Kappa Sigma took their annual fraternity auction in a “Magic Mike” direction with some promo videos to help loosen the purse strings at their event.

The event auctioned off date packages with the brothers, some of which included margaritas, sky diving and massages to help the men raise over $2,700 for Fisher House, which aids wounded veterans and their families in recovering as they come home from war. Along the way, the evening also featured a choreographed routine a la “Magic Mike” to BSB’s “I Want It That Way.”

(Ok, so maybe walking the runway and dropping some of their clothes along the way also had SOMETHING to do with the fund-raising…)

Check out one of the videos below.

Put The Pause On The Shop-Shop, Today Is #GivingTuesday

We all know about “Black Friday,” and “Cyber Monday.”

But more important, today is “Giving Tuesday.” Instead of shopping for holiday presents, today charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

It’s not about how much you give. It’s about the act of giving and celebrating that.

I’m sure many of you have your organizations of choice where you like to drop your donation dollars.

To help out today, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite charities to consider either today or this holiday season to help those who help others. Feel free to click on the links below to explore new possibilities for your Giving Tuesday.

• As I mention often here on The Randy Report, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is and has been near and dear to my heart for over 20+ years. BC/EFA is the premier Broadway organization to help those affected by HIV/AIDS, and I always like to point up the great work they do.

• The Ali Forney Center in NYC is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive shelter and services provider for homeless LGBT youth. Once homeless, they face higher incidences of violence, HIV infection, mental health issues and suicidal thoughts. In a single year, The Ali Forney Center connects with over 1,400 LGBT youth and serves over 150,000 meals to those who find themselves homeless. Medical and mental healthcare, career and educational counseling, job placement and training services are just a short list of important services provided. Click here to donate to their current crowd-funding campaign.

• Dogs rule at The Randy Report, and so it’s a no-brainer to make sure The Humane Society of the United States gets my shout out. You all know the impact HSUS makes on so many. The HSUS is the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization. Become a Humane Hero and consider donating to the HSUS here.

• It is incredible to me that in the greatest country in the world, people can go hungry.  Feeding America works to end that deficit. Their mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger. And Feeding America is highly rated by the Better Business Bureau and Charity Navigator.

You can’t go wrong with any of the organizations listed above. OR, if you have a charity close you already, I’m asking that you make some donation – any donation large or small – today and celebrate the true spirit of the holiday season.

Thanks for reading.

Forward.

Hugh Jackman Sells The Shirt Off His Back For Charity

Hugh Jackman counts the pushups to raise funds on Broadway for BC/EFA

It looks like the fund-raising after-show at Broadway’s The River starring Hugh Jackman is as entertaining as the performance itself.

From my friend Tom Viola’s Facebook page:

Last night at THE RIVER, in addition to Hugh Jackman auctioning his shirt (for $6,000 twice), posing for photos backstage (5 x $2,000) and leading his delightful company in raising a few more thousand in $100 poster sales and red bucket donations – as if that is wonderful in itself, something else occurred.

Inviting two of his gym buddies – aka “the Dog Pound” up-onstage, he challenged them to doing push-ups on his count, pledging to donate $50 to BC/EFA for each one. 50 push-ups later, Hugh is making a personal $2,500 donation to Broadway Cares and about 700 folks at Circle in the Square had the time of their lives. Thank you, Hugh! Thanks to all at THE RIVER!! (And I’m thinking the gentleman who quickly removed his shirt is a shoe-in for BROADWAY BARES.

All of this is for the annual Gypsy of the Year fund raising campaign happening on Broadway right now. Tom Viola and the entire team at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS do amazing work. If you make charitable donations during the holidays, please consider BC/EFA. I’ve spent decades helping them raise funds for those affected by HIV/AIDS.